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Frustration birthed my nail business

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In October 2018, Phyllis Njuguna was retrenched from her procurement job alongside many others, as her company was not doing well financially. She went home and started thinking and researching on an entrepreneurial venture that she could put her skills and time into. Her frustration with getting chipped nails was what birthed Delish Nailbar.

“I was always frustrated when I would do my nails and they would start chipping a few days later. My friends were also facing the same problem. So, when I was let go, I started thinking along the lines of opening a nail salon that would give people long lasting gel polish without harming their nails. I went online and started researching nail technology, what other people were doing and what I could do differently,” Phyllis elaborates.

She did her research, looked for a location and nail technicians and then used all her savings to launch Delish in November the same year. Phyllis was afraid of many things; entering a market where there were already

many nail shops, and where even more were bound to mushroom after hers.

Growing portfolio But she muscled through the fear and did it anyway. She started off doing manicures and pedicures, and then grew her portfolio to include lash extensions and eyebrow services. Her procurement degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and full Procurement professional qualifications from Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply UK have served her in good stead as she is responsible for sourcing for equipment and products for her nail bar.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It comes with its fair share of challenges and highlights. Phyllis has braved her fair share. The first challenge was hiring nail technicians with the skill set she needed and convincing them to join her then nascent brand. Brand building and getting clients to trust her was also another major challenge that took time and quality nail care treatments to achieve.

“Building Delish to the brand it is has taken time, blood, sweat and tears. To have clients coming back, choosing us even as more nail bars mushroom is truly a blessing. But my highlight is seeing our customers happy with their nails that serve them for a long time. The recognition, acceptance and even referrals from our clients to their friends are truly phenomenal and humbling. Becoming the brand we are now has been a dream come true,” she enthuses.

As her brand grew, clients and people looking to get into the business asked her about the training and upskilling for her staff. From here, she saw the gap in training in the market and started Delish Nail Academy, where students are equipped with the necessary skills to become qualified nail technicians so they can either seek employment or create employment by starting their own outfits.

As with all businesses, there has been a lot of learning and growing to be done. Luckily for Phyllis, she has business mentors from whom she can learn to avoid pitfalls that a more experienced eye would help her steer clear from. Moreover, managing a team, which is one of her core duties as the managing director of Delish, is her forte as she had managed teams before. Hiring the right people however was not as easy. Since she values upskilling her team and ensuring that not only are the right people hired, but that they keep growing, she decided to delegate that to a HR consultant who helps in recruiting and training staff.

Start small

“As a small business, sometimes you find yourself doing everything. I have learnt the importance of doing an honest self-appraisal and asking for help in areas I am not good at. It is important to hire qualified staff to delegate some of your business functions. You cannot do everything,” she advises.

As to how the business is doing due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic, Phyllis says it has been hard, but they are slowly adapting. She closed shop to help flatten the curve, but opened recently, following all the Ministry of Health guidelines, with staff and clients having to wear face masks during all procedures. While all surfaces are cleaned and sanitised daily, every Saturday, the premises is sprayed down and surfaces thoroughly sanitised to enhance safety.

To budding entrepreneurs and those still dreaming up and planning to start businesses, Phyllis urges them to do it now.

“Start where you are; start now; start with what you have. There is never going to be a right time, so stop procrastinating. Don’t be afraid of starting small. Every great business has to start somewhere. Put God first and you will be ok. Don’t give up when your business does not give you the expected results immediately. Analyse, adapt and keep it moving. It takes time and a lot of hard work. It is not going to be easy. But it will definitely be fulfilling,” she concludes.

By PD.co.ke

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Business

Optiven Foundation Spreads hope to the vulnerable Amidst Covid Pandemic

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As we gear towards alleviate poverty levels in our society, the Optiven Foundation has reached out to support
FLOMINA children’s home. Located in Nairobi’s Soweto area, the home was the recipient of assorted food stuffs including cereals, pulses and vegetable oil.

More than 65 vulnerable children some who are orphaned , abandoned or living with HIV & AIDs, got reasons to smile courtesy of Optiven Foundation.

As the eyes on the community, the Foundation’s desire is to transform & improve the livelihood of the vulnerable families in our society. This is by offering them support that includes basic food stuff. We thank all those who support the optiven vision of economically and socially empowering the communities

How to Easily Partner & Be a Philanthropist TODAY

1. Support a deserving needy person.
Mpesa Paybill: 898 630.
Account name: Donation

2. https://web.facebook.com/pg/optivenfoundation/reviews ( like our page & drop a comment) if a beneficiary, drop us a review & rate us

For more information reach us on +254 718 776 033 or info@optivenfoundation.org | www.optivenfoundation.org

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Business

What is happening in Amani Ridge the Place of Peace

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Amani Ridge the place of Peace is giving you an opportunity to build your home in a serene, scenic and natural environment.

It remains unparalleled facility with top notch value additions. Perimeter wall, razor wire,solar street lights, a welcoming landscaping work with a beautiful fountain and now a cabro- paved entry to 300 stunning homes to-be.

To become a part of this neighborhood, ensure that you or your friend book soonest from the 23
1/4 acre plots remaining.

Call us now:
0790300300 or 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

Experience the difference

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Business

Safe rides: Introducing the all-female taxi

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Say you are a woman, it is 11pm and you need a taxi ride urgently. You may have heard horrendous stories of female passengers in a male driven taxi that makes you recoil and opt to cancel the ride, but you need it, and you are alone.

Getting in the taxi, worry knocks and you start having wild ideas of your escape plan, just in case. You check the child lock and confirm that your phone is charged, before sending a screenshot of your taxi details to a friend – if anything happens, they will have a clue of where to start.

Will it be comforting to say that you are not alone?

This comfort factor for women is in a female chauffeured taxi called An Nisa, a taxi company whose vehicles only carry women and children, limited to pre-teen male.

Fellow women

“I wanted a taxi service that would make women feel comfortable throughout their journey. Women are more maternal and women feel more comfortable being driven by fellow women,” says  Khawlah Habib, founder of An Nisa.

An Nisa, which means women in the Arabic language, is a solution to women and mothers who may have had insecurities when they use other taxi services.

Whilst the analogy of prevention being better than cure is mostly used in medicine, Ms Habib says it perfectly fits her idea of having a female passenger being driven by a woman.

“I did a lot of research and talked to a number of women who narrated their unpleasant experiences, which made me see the need of coming up with a female-only taxi,” says Ms Habib.

When it was launched in 2018, there were more than 1,000 downloads and requests to use their service within a week. Unfortunately, at the time this article was written, the app was under maintenance so all bookings are still made on call.

Affirmative nod

“Men also call me to let me know that the ladies in their lives, or children, would wish to use An Nisa as a mode of transport, and that tells you that the worry is felt by both genders,” says Ms Habib.

An Nisa today, has more than 50 female drivers that work mainly in Nairobi and Mombasa.

It is even a feel-good option for female taxi drivers. Beatrice Wambui, a 30-year-oldwho has been a taxi driver for ten years now, has an affirmative nod for the An Nisa experience.

Ms Wambui juggles between all the online taxi service providers available in Nairobi. But says: “Having an An Nisa client feels safe, because I already know it is a fellow woman coming on board.”

Although she may not be affected much when she uses the other online taxi services, the discrimination starts from the passenger.

“One time I got a client request for my ride, when I accepted the request and they found out that it was a woman behind the wheel, they cancelled, and I felt so bad,” Ms Wambui says.

Late night ride

With An Nisa, she says, the expectation and reality are usually in synchrony. So, once a client calls in, they know that it is a woman who will drive them, so they do not have any reservations because that is what they sign up for.

Ms Habib does not just employ any woman to be her driver.

“I prefer drivers who have driven for a while, say 10 years or more, not less and should comply with all NTSA (National Transport and Safety Authority) requirements.”

And for clients who may want a late night ride, or a very early ride; say to the airport, they make advanced booking so that safety precautions including the driver’s, are considered.

Curfew

“I had to apply for a curfew pass that allows me to pick and drop off clients who travel in the wee hours of the night. With the pandemic, I insist that the client wears a face mask and sits on the back seat,” adds Ms Wambui.

For safety, An Nisa has partnered with Lady Askari, a company that offers protection services to women. The services, just like An Nisa, are provided by female trained security guards.

by nation.africa

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